There’re three rounds left in the fantasy season and limited time to make a move up the standings. Complicating matters is the rapidly evolving playoff picture that’s seen Seattle already wrap up the regular season title, leaving them nothing to play for in their final four matches. With a span of five matches in fourteen days, the dreaded specter of squad rotation is hanging heavy over the Reign and fantasy owners who have profited thus far from their success. They have two matches this round but also played two last round, making the threat of rotation a distinct possibility. I suspect they may go full strength against FCKC to try and keep their title rivals from marching towards the #2 seed and an easier road to the final, but they may then choose to rest some starters against Houston mid-week. It’s a very tricky situation to be sure.
The other three teams with two games this round are FC Kansas City, who themselves rotated players last week, as well as already eliminated Boston and soon-to-be eliminated Houston. The Breakers are a tasty proposition against a WNY Flash team that look to be mailing it in at this point, but the Dash have two games on the road in the Pacific Northwest, making it hard to spring for them.
Otherwise, it’s probably safest to roll with teams fighting for the playoffs, meaning Chicago, Washington, and Portland. The first two play each other on Saturday, while the Thorns have a plum matchup against the Dash on Sunday. Frustratingly, much of the playoff situation may be decided by midweek, meaning what’s true by the roster lock may not be as true come the final few games of the round.
Chris’ Round Seventeen Team Rankings:
GKs To Consider
Angerer (POR) – Matchup’s right. But do you trust that backline?
Barnhart (FCKC) – Not really making a lot of saves which is a problem if she’s not getting clean sheet points. That may not be a problem this round though.
Harris (WSH) – Red Stars attack inconsistent, and they should be confident after midweek, so worth considering.
Naeher (BOS) – For the truly bold. Better chance at shutting down Flash than you’d think though.
Solo (SEA) – I think she’s less of a rotation risk than others…but it’s still a risk nonetheless.
DEFs to Consider
Catley (POR) – Thorns may not be able to defend, but she’s still managing to produce offensively.
Cross/Singer (WSH) – First fixture of the week, so you can make sure they start. Defense has been leaking lately though.
Fletcher (SEA) – I think she may be safest from rotation. Probably has less upside than Cox but also doesn’t cost allocation slot.
Johnston (CHI) – Set piece threat, and Washington doesn’t have as much teeth offensively without Taylor.
Robinson (FCKC) – As ever, the safe option here. Somewhat risky play for keeping a clean sheet given matchups though.
MFs to Consider
Fishlock (SEA) – Might get more chances if Little gets rested. Might get rested herself. Risky.
Garefrekes (WSH) – Red Stars a tough nut to crack, and she’s not guaranteed a starting spot. Still, you’ll know if she starts before roster lock, and she did well last round.
Gorry (FCKC) – Seems to make things happen when she plays but not guaranteed of much. Club might go with more defensive Richmond in midfield.
Holiday (FCKC) – Tough matchup against Seattle if they go full strength, could rip apart Boston’s midfield in midweek…if she plays.
Little (SEA) – Killed it last round but might see her minutes eased back until the playoffs. Too good to bench though, so hope for the best.
Lloyd (WNY) – Capable of shredding this defense, but the ship in Rochester is sinking.
Matheson (WSH) – Not the greatest matchup, which is worrying with allocation status. But if ever there was a time to step up…
Mewis (BOS) – A dud much of the season but did well last round and has two chances to do likewise this time out.
Nairn (WSH) – Basically in the same boat as Garefrekes. Watch those lineups Saturday.
O’Reilly (BOS) – Stop doubting her. Offense produces much of the time and so does she. A real under the radar play.
Tymrak (FCKC) – Didn’t produce last round but has two more matches this time out.
Vero (POR) – Spaniard is pure class and should deliver the goods despite having just one fixture.
FWs to Consider
De Vanna (WSH) – If you fancy the Spirit frontline to trouble Chicago’s defense, she’s the pick of the litter
Hagen (FCKC) – Differential play if you fancy FCKC but didn’t show much last round.
Leroux (SEA) – Solid last round if not totally spectacular. Minutes are piling up though, meaning she could be rotated to the bench.
Morgan (POR) – Still likely to deliver phantom points if she doesn’t score which puts her a tough above Sinclair, but lots of folks will be rolling with her this round.
Naho (SEA) – Less miles this season than Leroux or Goebel, so she may keep getting the nod down the stretch…but she may also just as easily get benched for someone like Foxhoven.
Ohai (HOU) – Still showing rookie inconsistency, but also has two chances to shine, though with tough matchups.
Press (CHI) – A dud last round. But the Spirit defense isn’t exactly ironclad at the moment.
Rapinoe (SEA) – Do you keep running her out there to try keep building match fitness or do you try to keep her from doing too much too soon after missing much of the season. And do you want to gamble your fantasy season on trying to figure that out yourself?
Reeves (BOS) – Nice sleeper pick. If you believe the offense’ll keep running smoothly with Sanderson away on international duty.
Rodriguez (FCKC) – Think she’s slowing down a bit and may get another rest or two before season’s end. It’s hard to turn away though at this point.
Sinclair (POR) – Looks to be back to dangerous best late in the season but also seems more prone to bagels than Morgan. Think she’s boom or bust play the rest of the way.